Do You Really Know Social Media? 8 Huge Misconceptions
About 10 minutes prior to writing this, I was combing through articles to see if there was a definition of social media which I really liked. There was nothing. I came across an abundance of articles which were vague and which the author had seemingly no idea what social media is.
Social media is a way to bring to people together via the web and spark an interest in the online community, thus enabling these users to converse about said topic (or topics) together on your social media platform.
1. In 99% of instances, you do not know this medium if you play on Facebook and Twitter. These are social media applications which have defined and set a standard for the networking platform as we know it. Most likely, what you are doing is using these various platforms to chat with your friends and, depending on the site, possibly networking.
2. It's okay to put "social media" on my resume. Yes, due to the fact that a lot of marketing divisions of firms do not know what social media actually is, you may get away with it. However, you will eventually (and it will happen) run into somebody who knows social media and you will be embarrassed.
3. SM is for every company. Wrong! Your company is going to be competing with 100 hundred other firms in your space to get the attention of online gurus. If your company sells office products, you should probably save your money. I once had a competing recruiter ask a client who was in telecommunications hardware if the marketing person in which they needed to hire had to have experience in the medium. If none of your main competitors have an Alexa rating under 200,000, then creating a buzz through these types of platforms will cost too much money and probably won't have much effect.
4. People who truly know and can effectively execute SM can be hired for under $150,000. Being effective at social media is very, very hard. If somebody has mastered this skill, they can make your company rich. However, if you think that they are in the business to do so for under $150,000, rethink your strategy. At first, use your younger marketing representatives for help. They know it better than you and I.
5. The large companies know social media, why doesn't our company just use the same vendors? There are a few things wrong with this statement / question. First, a lot of vendors feast off of ignorance. Second, many feast off of an interview they did with some newspaper - maybe they were featured in the LA Times two years ago. Don't believe everything you read.
Third, some of these firms, in the early stages, obtained Fortune 500 clients and they use this to leverage sales with future prospects. What most people don't know is that it has a huge snowball effect. If a company was to snag a contract from a big fish, they have free reign. Forth, these companies have bigger fish to fry and, more likely than not, do not have a high priority for low paying accounts.
6. Let's keep the social media decisions to the executive marketing team. This is quite off-base as well. Do you remember those kids you hired and put in a cubicle? Like it or not, they are the closest you are going to get to a media expert. SM is a young person's game. Your firm should have these youngsters involved with every decision you make regarding social media. Swallow your pride and use the appropriate resources.
7. You're involved in the medium because your company has a video on YouTube. That's like comparing your high school football competition to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, if you get 1,000 hits a day to your video, yes you know social media. Though, if you did, you would probably not be reading this as it is quite elementary.
8. Putting the Twitter, Facebook logos, etc. on your site means that your firm is heavily involved in SM. If you're saying to yourself, "well, we have 2,000 followers on Twitter," look closely as to who they are as the site has a terrible spam problem.
Now that you have an idea as to what social media is, you should have fun and toss around ideas as to how to effectively utilize it for your firm. When doing so, you should have your young marketing representatives in the room as they will prove to be an invaluable resource.